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It can be easy to forget that real people lie at the center of every movement.

From the fight for religious freedom to the ongoing struggles for racial, gender, and socioeconomic equality, these movements are carried by regular people: mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, and friends who are working every day to make their voices heard.

The Fight for $15 is no different. It's about people fighting to survive.

Take, for instance, Adriana, a mother who has worked at McDonald's for five years.



Adriana's take-home pay for one two-week, full-time pay period was $508.38.

And like all of us, she has bills to pay.

She pays $100 per week in childcare for her son. Heat and water cost her $300 per month, and her rent is $500. With expenses for just those necessities already exceeding more than twice what she brought home for that two-week pay period — how is she supposed to pay for groceries? Emergency medical care? Internet so that her son can get his homework done? It's almost impossible.

What are workers supposed to do when they're working 40+ hours per week, doing necessary jobs, only to find that they're unable to make ends meet?

The minimum wage in the U.S. varies state by state; as of May 2016, it ranges from $7.25 to $10.50 per hour (with D.C. set to bump up to $11.50 on July 1). While some states do have slight increases scheduled years away, the sad reality is that with cost of living on the rise, it's still not enough to be a livable wage. So what does that mean?

There are veterans with full-time jobs who can't afford food.

There are parents who can only feed their kids if they themselves don't eat.

Or who give up everything so that their kids don't have to.

The people fighting for $15 work hard. They make multibillion-dollar corporations those billions of dollars.

Now, they're just asking to be compensated for it and for the freedom to form a union so they can get a seat at the table with the corporate CEOs who make so many decisions that affect their lives. They're fighting for their families and better pay so they can put money back into their neighborhoods. So they can strengthen and boost their local economy.

There's a long way to go, but the tides are turning.

New York and California have agreed to the $15 minimum wage. Thousands of workers in Pennsylvania are seeing their wages increase to $15 an hour. And the more these stories are heard, the stronger the voices of the thousands of people who are fighting for nothing more than the ability to survive can become.

If enough people stand behind them and share their stories, corporations will have no choice but to listen.

Joy

Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.


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Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy asked his Senate colleagues the questions millions of Americans have after a mass shooting.

Another school shooting. Another mass murder of innocent children. They were elementary school kids this time. There were 18 children killed—so far—this time.

The fact that I can say "this time" is enraging, but that's the routine nature of mass shootings in the U.S. It happened in Texas this time. At least three adults were killed this time. The shooter was a teenager this time.

The details this time may be different than the last time and the time before that, and the time before that, and the time before that. But there's one thing all mass shootings have in common. No, it's not mental illness. It's not racism or misogyny or religious extremism. It's not bad parenting or violent video games or lack of religion.

Some of those things have been factors in some shootings, but the single common denominator in every mass shooting is guns. That's not a secret. It's not controversial. It's fact. The only thing all mass shootings have in common is guns.

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Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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